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Conservatives who for years have pushed judges to rein in federal bureaucrats have a chance to claim their biggest prize yet as the Supreme Court considers toppling a 39-year-old precedent that critics say has fueled an explosion of government overreach.
The justices on Monday agreed to hear a case testing the so-called Chevron doctrine, which provides support for agencies confronting new and emerging challenges without explicit statutory directions from Capitol Hill. The implications for government regulations — and by extension, presidential authority — are vast, potentially touching everything from climate change to finance to social media.
Presidents of both parties have leaned on the doctrine. A judge invoked it to uphold Donald Trump’s ban on bump stocks, which allow rifles to fire like machine guns. Barack Obama used Chevron to defend a rule encouraging states to adopt more renewable power. And Joe Biden said courts should defer to regulators seeking to expand federal oversight of waterways.
Chevron deference dates back to 1984, when the justices said that when Congress wrote a statute without a clear meaning, courts should defer to the federal agency applying the law, unless its directives were unreasonable.
Early on, conservatives embraced the Chevron ruling, but critics of big government have since organized to fight it. Gregory Ellison, an assistant professor of law at Northern Illinois University, said the backlash also came from businesses, including oil and gas companies, as they were affected by agency actions.
“The Supreme Court has the opportunity to rein in executive power run amok,” said Matt Bowman, senior counsel with the conservative group Alliance Defending Freedom.
More recently, Republican-appointed justices have soured on the doctrine. Still, the Supreme Court has rebuffed calls to revisit Chevron at least four times since 2019, opting instead to use other means to roll back agency authority. Read the full story from Emily Birnbaum, Jennifer A. Dlouhy, and Greg Stohr.
- At 6:30 p.m., the president and first lady host a dinner at the White House for combatant commanders.
- White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre gives a briefing at 1 p.m.
- The Senate reconvenes at 10 a.m. to consider a number of judicial nominations as well as measures to roll back Biden administration rules on solar tariffs and the lesser prairie chicken.
Happening on the Hill
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) says he’ll join the meeting with Biden and the three other top congressional leaders to begin talks on the debt limit.
The former chief executive officer of Silicon Valley Bank and the former leaders of Signature Bank are to be among the witnesses at Senate Banking Committee hearings on US bank failures.
More than 80% of the mental health providers listed as in-network in a sampling of Medicare Advantage plans weren’t available to the plans’ beneficiaries, the Senate Finance Committee reported.
Two influential Black Democrats in Congress have introduced a bill that would invalidate forced arbitration agreements in cases of racial discrimination, over a year after Congress passed similar legislation for sexual harassment and sexual assault allegations.
Online platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube would need to obtain teenagers’ permission before collecting their personal information, under a bipartisan bill that’s the latest bid to modernize a decades-old law for the social media age.
- Reports of child exploitation online increased at many of the biggest tech and social media firms over the last year, including Instagram and Google. Read more.
- One of TikTok’s senior-most officials in charge of ensuring user safety is leaving the company amid increasing pressure for the government to ban the app. Read more.
- Vice President Kamala Harris is meeting Thursday with the chief executive officers from top artificial intelligence firms Alphabet, Microsoft, OpenAI, and Anthropic as part of a Biden administration effort to pressure companies to implement safeguards around the emerging technology. Read more.
US Eyes More Action on China
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) today will lead a news conference with fellow Democratic senators to preview legislation aimed at increasing US competitiveness with China that will build off the CHIPS and Science Act enacted last year.
- On May 16, the Senate Appropriations Committee will hear testimony about strategy to strengthen US security and competitiveness against China from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, according to an emailed statement from the panel.
- Relatedly, American semiconductor companies want access to the China market despite US government national security concerns and need clear rules from the Biden administration, according to a major industry group. Read more
House lawmakers are requesting information from Nike, Adidas, and at least two other companies on whether they are importing products derived from forced labor in China.
The Navy is the most hobbled by readiness failures among the four US military service branches, according to congressional auditors, a worrisome assessment given the crucial role it would play in any potential conflict with China.
The first US delegation to visit Brazil since President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s high-profile trip China last month is highlighting the different approach that the world’s two largest economies are taking to investment in the South American country.
Politics, Probes, and 2024
A woman who accused Trump of sexual assault just ahead of the 2016 election took the witness stand in the trial of E. Jean Carroll’s lawsuit against the former president.
A panel of federal appellate judges in Montgomery, Ala., sought during oral arguments to tease out whether Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) decision to suspend a state prosecutor was primarily motivated by his job performance or by his constitutionally protected statements.
More News We’re Reading
Drug overdose death rates involving fentanyl more than tripled in the US from 2016 to 2021.
IRS Commissioner Danny Werfel has a message for prospective employees: The agency may not be your favorite, but it’s critical to a functioning government and now is a key opportunity to improve it.
Newly released documents from Justice John Paul Stevens provide a behind the scenes look at some of the Supreme Court’s most consequential cases, from abortion to LGBTQ rights to affirmative action.
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Kayla Sharpe at email@example.com